Row row row your boat

… gently out to sea…

DAKAR (Reuters) – A U.S. rower hoping to cross the Atlantic in a wooden boat to raise awareness of Africa’s AIDS crisis was forced to abandon his trip hours after he set off when his boat took on water and sank, his Web site said.

The Senegalese navy and an ocean freighter rescued Victor Mooney, a 41-year-old public affairs officer from New York, on Sunday afternoon soon after he set off from the historic slaving island of Goree bound for New York’s Brooklyn Bridge.

Mooney was hoping to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and commemorate the slave trade by rowing across the Atlantic in his 7.3 meter (24-foot) boat, named John Paul the Great.

“His boat was damaged upon launching it in Dakar several weeks ago. Subsequently, it was repaired but Mooney learned later it wasn’t done properly,” said a statement on the Web site.

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